ABSTRACT: Fetal growth restriction is a serious, still poorly understood pregnancy-related pathology often associated with preeclampsia. Recent studies speculate on the role of human transthyretin, a carrier protein for thyroxin and retinol binding protein, in the etiology of both pregnancy pathologies. Objective was to investigate the localization and abundance of transthyretin (TTR) in placentas of pregnancies suffering from fetal growth restriction with and without preeclampsia and HELLP. This was a retrospective case control study on human paraffin-embedded placentas from pregnancies with a gestational age at delivery between the 24th and 34th week of gestation. 16 placentas were included in this study, 11 cases and 5 from normotensive pregnancies as controls. Cases were divided into three groups: four from early onset idiopathic intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), four from early-onset severe preeclampsia (PE), and three from early-onset IUGR with preeclampsia plus HELLP syndrome. Distribution and abundance of TTR were investigated by means of immunohistochemistry. Semi quantitative analysis of TTR staining of placental sections revealed that TTR was mostly expressed in the villous trophoblast covering placental villi. Only weak staining of TTR in villous stroma could be detected. The comparison of placentas revealed that in pure IUGR and severe PE there is a much stronger TTR reactivity compared to controls and cases with IUGR + PE + HELLP. Concluding, the study showed that TTR is dysregulated in cases of IUGR and severe early onset preeclampsia. Interestingly, TTR expression is not affected in cases with HELLP syndrome that reveal the same staining intensities as age-matched controls.
Histochemie 07/2012; · 2.59 Impact Factor